I have two good friends with cancer, so this question is coming up a lot these days. And recently I did a reading for someone who was taken ill with pneumonia and since then suffered a seemingly never ending series of health problems and pain. I’ve had clients who have been in terrible car accidents that paralyzed them. Horrific abuse as children. Being fired from a job at which they excelled.
These events may seem terrible on the surface, and it would be easy when undergoing a drastic and terrible time to feel like Job in the bible on whom Jehovah visited a never ending series of trials. But hidden in nearly all of these events is a kernel of magic that can transform our viewpoint and the way we see our world.
Cancer has been much on my mind lately because of my friends. The last thing they want to hear from me is that there is a gift of magic hidden in their cancer. I’ve never had cancer, so how do I know? And is that really helpful? What if they can’t find that gift, does that make them somehow a lesser person? And yet there are many stories of people with serious illness who have found a new way of looking at their lives that completely transformed them.
Nine years ago I wrote this article about “the bright side of cancer.” In this article I quote a number of people, including Lance Armstrong who said “Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I don’t know why I got the illness, but it did wonders for me, and I wouldn’t want to walk away from it.” But clearly, not everyone is able to look at their life from that perspective .
We typically see these dramatic events under the influence of Pluto or Uranus. Pluto is, after all, the planet of death but also rebirth – the regeneration that comes when we must leave behind every known aspect of our life and emerge into the Sun, naked and alive, transformed by the power that comes when we face the end of consciousness that we call death. Uranus is the Awakener – he brings events to shock us out of our sleepwalking through life and bring us into a heightened state of consciousness.
Tony Robbins always says “If you’re getting the wrong answers you’re not asking the right questions.” The question “Why me?” will only serve to anchor us into a spiral of negativity. Better questions may be “What can I learn from this experience?” “What practices will help to heal me?” “What do I need to change in my life to promote healing and remove fear?”
When we examine our lives from inside of ourselves, all we can see is the story and feel punished by life. But there is a different story unfolding at every moment – the story of a personal journey of inner transformation.